If you didn’t follow the 17th Season of The Ultimate Fighter, then it may have been lost on you why so many people were shocked, when Kelvin Gastelum defeated Uriah Hall in the finale by split decision. The reason being, of course, was that Hall had recorded some of the show’s most violent stoppages to date.
In the end, the rugged Gastelum was able to grind out a tightly contested, split decision win over the favorite Hall. While Gastelum’s wrestling skills played a pivotal role in the win, so did his ability, apparently, to make him think he hated the feared striker. While speaking to RM Sports recently (and published first by MMA Linker) Gastelum was asked what it was like to fight Hall, who he continues to train alongside at the Reign MMA Training Center in California.
“It’s tough business to fight a friend, and for fifteen minutes I had to make myself believe, and like I’ve said before, I had to make myself believe I hated him…but he’s a cool guy I really like him and we’ve grown to be really good friends. But I think the pressure was more on him, a lot of people hyping him up, and I went in there with an attitude of I’ve got nothing to lose. It was a little easier on me I think.”
There was definitely a ton of attention and pressure on Hall going into the bout (that’s what happens when you land a spinning hook kick flush on national television).
As for Gastelum, up next he’ll take on Brian Melancon at UFC Fight 27, who is coming off an impressive, first round knockout win over Seth Baczynski at UFC 162. Afterwards, Melancon noted he’s a big fan of Fedor Emelianenko, which could explain why he has some nasty ground-and-pound. Should be a good fight.
UFC Fight Night 27 will take place August 28th, in Indianapolis, Indiana.